Friday, March 19, 2004

he had to go
He really, really had to go.

Despite the call by European governments to step up co-operation in sharing intelligence, the council of ministers and the Commission, the EU's central institutions, and even member states on a bilateral level, cannot agree how to co-ordinate. The "counter-terrorism tsar" is supposed to remedy these shortcomings.

Germany was reminded of this last weekend. Its federal criminal bureau said the Spanish authorities intentionally withheld information and misled German officials over the explosives used in the Madrid bombings. The Spanish conservative government had insisted the Goma 2 Eco dynamite for the explosives had been frequently used by Eta, the Basque separatist movement. On Monday, it admitted that was not the case.

So Aznar’s government deliberately misled an ally over an al-Qaeda terrorist atrocity for electoral reasons. I think that ends the “appeaser” argument. It also leads naturally to a counter-argument: that Bush, Blair and Aznar form an axis of entitlement, for whom terrorism means a license to do as they please and gives them the right to hold on to power permanently. Brits, Yanks and Spanish were all lied to over Iraq. So why not lie about 3/11 as well? There's a public event on you might find embarrassing? Rally the troops by calling a terror alert! Fancy a bit of martial glory but the folks are dubious? Get some bollocks off the internet and hand it round the office so everyone can put stuff in! Punters want to vote or someone else? Appeasers! We're “tough on terror”, so we've got impunity. This is where the real threat to democracy comes from.

from Kevin Drum.